In the United States, a family of four is considered "low income" if it makes about $24,000. In San Francisco, however, a family of that size is now considered "low income" even if it makes $105,350.
That's according to San Francisco's local news station KRON TV, which reports "that a family of four in San Francisco earning more than $100,000 a year can now qualify for affordable housing" from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and local HUD-subsidized sources.
"[T]he income limits in the Bay Area are the highest of any area in the country," HUD Regional Public Affairs Officer and Homeless Liaison Ed Cabrera tells KRON TV.
Other nearby regions are also hit hard by the high cost of living: Salaries that qualify families there as "low income" would place Americans squarely in the middle class elsewhere in the country.
For example, "Santa Clara County is at about $84,000. Contra Costa County is at about $80,000. For Napa, it is $74,000. And for Solano, it is $64,000," according to the station.
KRON TV reported earlier this year that the lack of affordable housing, even for people making what would seem like good salaries, has driven some San Francisco residents to live in their cars: "In Santa Clara County, a recent survey shows more than 6,000 people in the county are homeless. And 23 percent of them are living in their cars, vans, and RVs."
Elaine Sanchez, who has been in that situation for six years now, can't share a home with her husband of almost 40 years. Instead they each have their own RV and live side by side. She tells KRON TV, "It's a space issue. We're living, not camping."
The situation has gotten so bad in the Bay Area that some Facebook engineers reportedly asked their boss Mark Zuckerberg for help paying rent and some Twitter employees earning $160,000 feel like they're barely scraping by, according to the Guardian.